2 arrested after Hurricane Police stop van possibly stolen from federal government

Composite image, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Two individuals were arrested in Hurricane Wednesday morning after officers stopped a van with federal license plates and allegedly found drugs, a weapon and identification documents that did not belong to either individual.

Shortly after 8 a.m., Hurricane City Police officers performed a traffic stop on the van, which was westbound on state Route 9 near the Interstate 15 on-ramp. Officers spoke with the driver, Jackie Coughran, of Medford, Oregon, and the passenger, Donell Jordon, of Salt Lake City.

Officers ran their names through a records check and discovered that Las Vegas Metro Police in Nevada were looking for the pair.

The records check on Jordon also revealed an active warrant for his arrest issued out of San Francisco, California, for first-degree felony burglary, Hurricane Police Officer Ken Thompson said.

A check of the van’s license plate number revealed the plates were registered to the federal government. Officers attempted to verify that the license plate and the vehicle identification number on the van matched but found that the VIN was intentionally modified to the point that it was no longer readable.

Jackie Coughran, of Medford, Ore., booking photo posted in Washington County, Utah, Aug. 7, 2019 | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

During a search of the van, officers found a finance card and identification documents that did not belong to either suspect, Thompson said, along with a firearm, an unspecified amount of illegal drugs as well as drug paraphernalia.

The pair was arrested and booked into Purgatory Correctional Facility for multiple offenses.

Coughran faces one second-degree felony count of altering the VIN of a motor vehicle and three third-degree felony counts, including acquiring a finance card without consent, possession of ID documents and possession of a weapon by a category II person. She also faces six misdemeanors, including two counts of drug possession, two counts of possession of paraphernalia, one count of driving on a suspended/revoked driver’s license and operating a motor vehicle without insurance.

Jordon was arrested on the felony warrant out of California and also faces one second-degree felony count of possession of a firearm by a category I person and one third-degree felony count of acquiring a finance card without consent. He also faces three misdemeanors, including providing false information of another to police, drug production and possession of paraphernalia.

Donell Jordon, of Salt Lake City, booking photo posted in Washington County, Utah, Aug. 7, 2019 | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

Meanwhile, officers are still processing the van for evidence to determine the vehicle’s ownership, which is proving difficult due to the destroyed VIN, Thompson said. He added that the license plate check did not come back as stolen, but that may be because the agency doesn’t know the vehicle is missing.

Thompson said there are two likely scenarios concerning the van — either the suspects removed the license plates from a federal vehicle and then placed them on the van or the van was stolen from the federal government.

The suspects remain in custody at the time of this report.

This report is based on preliminary information provided by law enforcement and may not contain the full scope of findings.

Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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